Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages
Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian. The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month. The documents show that: • Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal; • The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail; • Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".